In the specific context of sub-Saharan Africa, women are often not involved in decision-making in the areas of water resources management and climate change adaptation. Helping young women to become more involved through concrete actions and projects can enable them to participate in the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation strategies. This is why the Network of Water and Climate Organisations of Central African Youth (RECOJAC) organised, on 13th September 2019, a training workshop for young women leaders in the domain of water and climate, in partnership with GWP-CAf, the UNESCO Central Africa Office and UN Women.
The main objective of this workshop was to encourage young women to be more active in the domain of water and climate and to facilitate the creation of the RECOJAC Young Ambassador Programme for Water and Climate. The workshop was attended by more than 80 young women from Cameroon, Congo, Gabon and CAR. The workshop was held face-to-face in Cameroon while participants from other countries followed online. The various speakers were from UN Women, GWP Cameroon, Young Volunteer for the Environment, Green Youth Association of Cameroon and Water for Life Cameroon. They discussed with participants on topics related to:
- Women's participation in climate negotiations;
- Women's participation in water sector processes;
- The challenges of women's leadership in the climate sector;
- Leadership opportunities for women in the water sector;
- Sharing experiences on women's leadership in the climate sector;
- Young ambassadors;
- Reflection on the RECOJAC programme for young ambassadors.
These presentations helped empower the participating women. The latter also met in working groups to find solutions and ideas on the implementation of a Young Women Water and Climate Ambassadors programme. This programme will facilitate the participation of young women from the Central African region in decision-making processes, promote and encourage women's initiatives in the water and climate sector. On this point, Michèle OKALA, RECOJAC Coordinator, stated "It should be noted that the programme is not predefined in advance. It is women who will define it themselves, taking into account their experiences and what they are going through.".